AIMS Schools Enrichment Centre (AIMSSEC)
AIMSSEC identified the need to narrow the gap between opportunities for previously disadvantaged rural South African teachers concerning transition rates into mathematics and science careers for their learners. The primary gap was identified in schools where there was a need for teachers to increase their content knowledge and their pedagogical approaches to raise the quality of teaching and learning mathematics.
AIMSSEC’s programs are designed to address this gap through the use of continuous professional development. These programs include:
- The seven-course sequence to train teachers to be mathematics subject leaders;
- The three-month AIMSSEC Mathematical Thinking (MT) course, endorsed with 20 professional development points by the South African Council for Educators (Service Provider Number: PR11011).
These courses are designed for the majority of mathematically under-qualified mathematics teachers, preparing them to be more effective teachers, heads of departments and subject advisers.
To develop expert teachers from the continuous professional development program in South Africa, AIMSSEC follows a blended learning approach which includes: residential modules, distance learning, online forums, end of year examinations and interactive whiteboard sessions. AIMSSEC’s first book, “Mathematical Thinking in the Lower Secondary Classroom”, was published by Cambridge University Press (CUP) in 2016, giving educators access to resources for professional development and classroom practice. This book is the first in a series.
AIMSSEC also provides intensive ICT training on all residential courses, covering essential ICT skills including email, Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, GeoGebra and use of the internet. To date, AIMSSEC has trained over 2000 teachers on the MT short course, while 215 teachers graduated from the two-year Advanced Certificate in Teaching (ACT) course.